Gene, in regards to how scientific the Socialist USSR was I think you know the answer. Lysenko prevailed over Michelin, and in the 60-s Khrushchev ordered changes in the agriculture that proved to be unreasonable and in some instances catastrophic. After visiting USA he decided that planting corn in Russia was the way to go, and suck-ups all over Siberia obliged. You can easily guess the harvest of corn in attitudes where summer lasts two months. Russia was always famous for its production of grains, but in the 1960-s USSR started buying whet in Canada. Someone said that instead of using national gold reserves to buy wheat Soviet government should have given a fraction of that gold to its own peasants, and the country would drown in grains of all kind. Science or not the decisive force was always political.
I read about that faker, that phony. He was a friend of JV Stalin. He was a criminal against scientific inquiry, a sad counterpoint to the Vavilov Institute researchers who guarded root vegetables while starving to death during the Nazi blockade. https://www.rbth.com/blogs/2014/05/12/t ... eeds_35135
Lysenko had Vavilov arrested, he later died in the camps of hunger. Today we have the term "Vavilov Center", which describes the point of origin of races. Lynsenko lives only as a warning of how power can pervert science.
Khrushchev's agricultural campaign was well intentioned, the party wanted abundant corn so that soviet citizens had abundant meat and milk. They were working against a fundamental barrier - central planning.
The idea of Central Planning itself is suspect. Frederick von Hayek won the 1974 Nobel prize for his work on centralized planning, where he described the limits of knowledge that plague central planners.
Here is his acceptance lecture, which ought to be forced reading for some of the people posting in this thread. Especially its creator, who imagines that he can manage the destiny of a nation from his comfy office seat. Hint - The Soviets under Gosplan tried it, DMW. They failed.
We cannot be grateful enough to such modern philosophers of science as Sir Karl Popper for giving us a test by which we can distinguish between what we may accept as scientific and what not – a test which I am sure some doctrines now widely accepted as scientific would not pass.
If man is not to do more harm than good in his efforts to improve the social order, he will have to learn that in this, as in all other fields where essential complexity of an organized kind prevails, he cannot acquire the full knowledge which would make mastery of the events possible. He will therefore have to use what knowledge he can achieve, not to shape the results as the craftsman shapes his handiwork, but rather to cultivate a growth by providing the appropriate environment, in the manner in which the gardener does this for his plants. There is danger in the exuberant feeling of ever growing power which the advance of the physical sciences has engendered and which tempts man to try, “dizzy with success”, to use a characteristic phrase of early communism, to subject not only our natural but also our human environment to the control of a human will. The recognition of the insuperable limits to his knowledge ought indeed to teach the student of society a lesson of humility which should guard him against becoming an accomplice in men’s fatal striving to control society – a striving which makes him not only a tyrant over his fellows, but which may well make him the destroyer of a civilization which no brain has designed but which has grown from the free efforts of millions of individuals.
https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/econo ... k/lecture/